Stocks in Asia Pacific were mixed on Tuesday afternoon trade as gold prices dipped from their record levels.
Shares in South Korea led gains among the region’s major markets, with the Kospi up 1.76% to close at 2,256.99 as shares of industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics soared 5.4%.
Mainland Chinese stocks were also higher on the day, with the Shanghai composite gaining 0.71% to around 3,227.96 while the Shenzhen component jumped 1.314% to about 13,147.35. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index added 0.69%, as of its final hour of trading.
Over in Japan, stocks lagged the overall region as the Nikkei 225 dipped 0.26% to close at 22,657.38 while the Topix index shed 0.48% to finish its trading day at 1,569.12. Shares of Fujifilm rose 3.1% after U.S. President Donald Trump announced Monday that the U.S. government awarded the firm a $265 million contract for coronavirus vaccine manufacturing.
Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index added 0.93%.
Gold prices dipped from record levels in the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with spot gold last trading at $1,937.2782 after rising to as high as $1,980.5662 earlier.
The situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic likely continued to weigh on investor sentiment. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday unveiled the Republican coronavirus relief plan, which would include relief for jobless Americans, among other provisions. The U.S. currently has the most number of confirmed coronavirus infections and deaths globally, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Multiple firms also announced Monday the start of late-stage human trials as the race to find a coronavirus vaccine continues.
U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and German biotech firm BioNTech said they began their late-stage human trial for a potential coronavirus vaccine on Monday. That announcement by the firms came the same day biotech firm Moderna, also developing a leading vaccine candidate, said it began its late-stage coronavirus vaccine trial.
Japanese automaker shares take a hit
Shares of Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors plummeted 12.64% on Tuesday after the company said Monday that it expects to see a 140 billion yen (about $1.329 billion) loss in operating income for the year ending March 31, 2021.
Mitsubishi’s bet on electric vehicles “hasn’t really taken off,” according to Vivek Vaidya, associate partner at Frost & Sullivan. “This is a company which really needs to make sure that they have the right product strategy in place.”
Vaidya told CNBC’s “Street Signs” on Tuesday that he expected Mitsubishi to be pulled through by its alliance with Nissan Motor and Renault. He said the latter two firms would “definitely support” Mitsubishi as the alliance has “worked very pragmatically.”
“They don’t really react to short-term things because … in the entire automotive industry it is the survival of the fittest, and the fittest is the one who has the largest capacity, larges access to the vendors, largest access to the customers,” Vaidya said.
Meanwhile, Nissan Motor also saw its stock drop 4.33% on Tuesday following a Nikkei Asian Review report that the firm’s automobile business runs the risk of running out of cash over the next year and a half.
|.N225||Nikkei 225 Index||NIKKEI||22486.72||-170.66||-0.75|
|.HSI||Hang Seng Index||HSI||24874.14||101.38||0.41|
|.AXJO||S&P/ASX 200||ASX 200||6006.60||-13.90||-0.23|
|.FTFCNBCA||CNBC 100 ASIA IDX||CNBC 100||8923.19||-17.75||-0.20|
Currencies and oil
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.784 after touching an earlier low of 93.493.
SOURCE : https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/28/asia-markets-coronavirus-earnings-currencies-in-focus.html